Time Travel







All Music Guide
- Reviews by Matt Borghi

The Spectral Ships & Ether Dome
Richard Bone

     In any genre, every once and awhile, an artist comes along that just creates a fantastic recording, or a set of fantastic recordings; in the ambient/space/atmospheric genre, Richard Bone is that artist. With two fantastic recordings, The Spectral Ships and Etherdome, released seemingly back to back on the Hypnos Recordings label in 1998 and 1999, respectively, Bone created two sound worlds that are seemingly one. You can't have one recording without the other, comparable to the complimentary relationship that Miles Davis' Bitches Brew and its predecessor In a Silent Way have; both of these recordings reflect a period, a time, and a sound, and that's also the case with these two stellar Richard Bone recordings.

The Spectral Ships is a concept recording, or a recording with a theme whereby each track is named after an historic phantom seacraft from maritime legends; the spectral ships were ghost vessels which would appear on the horizon at dusk or dawn. Richard Bone has created an eerily dark recording that truly conveys the mysterious feeling of a dark and rolling sea. The Spectral Ships is one of his most haunting works and certainly on of his best. Richard Bone's choice of timbres is par excellence; his compositional use of sound and silence is second to none. With The Spectral Ships, Richard Bone has captured a sound that none before him have and, quite possibly, none that follow will. This is an excellent recording, and it's a gem that sticks out in the growing catalog of Richard Bone releases.

His visit to an early medical facility, where modern anesthesia was experimentally developed, conjured up images of souls drifting in and out of consciousness; with these ideas in mind he set out to create a recording that truly captured the essence of these emotions. With Etherdome, Bone has done just what he set out to do, creating a wonderfully dark excursion into a wholly original ethereal ambiance that captures the listener, holds them, and releases them. His compositions and choice of timbres for these compositions is second to none. This is quite possibly the best recording in the Richard Bone catalog, and it becomes more amazing with every listen. This recording is highly recommended for all fans of music!

- Matt Borghi